HomeCURRENT AFFAIRSIAF plans to build 96 fighter jets in India

IAF plans to build 96 fighter jets in India

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s self-reliant India plan, the Indian Air Force is going to take a big step. The Air Force has decided to make 96 fighter planes out of 144 in India. Apart from this, only the remaining 18 aircraft will be imported from abroad. The Air Force has to rely heavily on these 114 fighter planes to maintain superiority over neighboring countries Pakistan and China. The number of these aircraft is less, so the Air Force will manufacture aircraft according to its demand.

The Air Force has drawn up plans to acquire 114 Multirole Fighter Aircraft (MRFA) under the ‘Buy Global and Make in India’ plan, under which Indian companies will be allowed to partner with foreign vendors. According to government sources, for this, the Indian Air Force has held a meeting with foreign vendors and asked them about the way to take the Make in India project forward. Sources said that according to the plan, after the import of the initial 18 aircraft, the next 36 aircraft will be manufactured within the country.

Sources said the last 60 aircraft would be the main responsibility of the Indian partner and the government would pay only in Indian currency. Payment in Indian currency will enable vendors to procure over 60 per cent ‘Make-in-India’ content in the project. Global aircraft manufacturers including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Saab, MiG, Irkut Corporation and Dassault Aviation are expected to participate in the tender.

The 36 Rafale aircraft, procured under emergency orders, went a long way in maintaining an edge over the Chinese during the Ladakh crisis that began in 2020, but the numbers are not enough and would require more such capability. The fifth generation advanced medium combat aircraft project in the country is progressing at a satisfactory pace but it will take a long time to get into the operational role.

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